The bright yellow Accord hummed along the highway on cruise, now set on 72. Glancing at the Seiko with the large dial on her svelte wrist, Maggie again stole a long glance at this morning's headlines. Suddenly, the Rod triple play broke on the radio: We interrupt this program to bring you a special report. Early this morning, a woman's body was found in a parking lot near a mountain tavern in the town of Purgatory, Colorado. Apparently murdered, this unidentified woman's decapitated body was found by an unnamed tavern regular after 3 am this morning. Sheriff Beula "Bull" Mansfield of the local county said: "At this time, we have no motive in this woman's horrific death. She was brutally beheaded in some crude type of guillotine. We ask that any citizen with any information regarding this incident call our office or the Federal Bureau of Investigation-"
Maggie hit tapped the brakes as she took the BWI exit. Speaking to the headlines, Maggie exhorted "What? The FBI? That would mean this isn't an isolated incident - and they know that. Somehow they've made a connection. Damn!! What have they found? What connection have they made? DAMN!" The citrus convertible floated through the ticket entry into LONG TERM PARKING.
This was the third death in as many months of Maggie's stock. The first was the untimely death of Bette the Blessed. Bette was her rock; old reliable. Whenever she needed a fix, Maggie knew she could count on Bette; good, kind, foolish Bette. Bette had an untimely dose of her thyroid medicine in conjunction with her mytoxicillin for her damaged kidney; they said she must have lost track of when she took what - yeah, right. Bette didn't lose track of fifteen Bingo cards; she didn't lose track of which old, decrepit cat needed diabetic medication and which required low magnesium and which loved Cherry Garcia; fat chance she lost track of her medication. She was a very organized and sharp cutie-patootie. Maggie missed Bette's contributions to her now perfectly functioning renal organs. Then there was Godfrey. They said Godfrey's break down of white blood cells and eventual death was natural, but Maggie knew otherwise; she may not know it, but she knows. And so does her HIV rejecting body. And now this.
She drove the Honda to the second level, toward the north side of the parking garage. Slipping into the stall next to Big Daddy's Cowboy Cadillac, she inched to a stop and slammed the tranny into "P." Maggie glanced in the mirror and touched up her lips with Chanel's Plum Crazy. Her bright, autumn fronds complemented her luminous emerald eyes, a combination that will stop any man (or woman for that matter) dead in his (or her) tracks. Maggie grabbed her Entienne bag and followed the arrows to the airport terminal.
Maggie proceeded straight to Gate C4 for her flight. Seated in first class with the first luscious swallow of a Royal Kir sliding down her throat, Maggie stared out the window as the Boeing 757 pulled away from the jetway. Maggie glanced around the cabin and caught the headline again on the paper the elderly gentleman across the aisle was reading.
"Oh, Ruby, what am I going to do without you?" Maggie thought to herself as she brushed a swish of hair behind her right ear. She didn't need them to identify the decapitated. She already knew she's lost her jewel.
What the sheriff didn't say is that the head of the victim had not been found and slight puncture marks were discovered on the inside of her thighs and in both armpits.